Even though most employers do their best to ensure the safety of their workers, accidents in the workplace can still happen. This is why all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation benefits. If an employee gets hurt at work, these benefits can cover their medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. With that being said, here are some of the most common misconceptions about workers’ compensation.
You Can’t Get Workers’ Compensation for a Pre-Existing Injury
Many people are under the false impression that they can’t receive workers’ compensation for a pre-existing injury. While some employers may give workers a hard time about getting benefits for a pre-existing injury, it doesn’t mean they aren’t eligible. If you have a pre-existing injury that was aggravated from an accident at work, you will still likely be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
You Can’t Go to Your Own Doctor After a Work Related Accident
Although your employer may be able to require you to see a doctor of their choice for the initial assessment, you can choose your own doctor for treatment. If you don’t feel comfortable with the doctor that your employer selected, you shouldn’t hesitate to get another opinion.
If Your Employer Denies Your Workers’ Compensation Claim, That’s It
Employers deny workers’ compensation claims frequently for one reason or another. Maybe they don’t believe the injury occurred on the job, or perhaps they believe the injury is the result of violation of company policy. If your employer has denied your workers’ compensation claim, you might feel that you’re out of options; however, you can still file an appeal with the assistance of a lawyer.
Only Physical Injuries Are Covered
Another common misconception many people have about workers’ compensation is that it only applies to physical injuries, like broken bones and head injuries. However, many employers are starting to recognize mental health issues, such as depression and post traumatic stress disorder. For example, if you were the victim of workplace violence and suffered post traumatic stress because of it, you may be able to add mental health damages to your claim.
You Can File a Workers’ Compensation Claim Any Time After an Injury
This is false. In many states, you only have up to 30 days to report a work injury to your employer. If you wait too long to report the injury and file a claim, you might not be eligible for benefits anymore.
Were You Injured at Work?
If you recently suffered a workplace injury, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, like a workers’ compensation lawyer in St. Lucie, FL, soon. He or she can help you file a timely claim and improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig, & Neuwelt for their insight into some of the most common misconceptions about workers’ compensation.